The Male Genetic Curse

It’s a common problem and it can be very irritating. Sometimes it can be a form of amusement, others tragedy and terror. It’s known to the academics amongst us as alopecia androgenetica and no, it’s not a new species of African Bullfrog. Nor is it the undiscovered Geldof sister they keep chained in the basement, sustained by the odd Baby Ruth bar.

It is in fact Male Pattern Baldness. Bruce Willis, Ross Kemp, Terry Nutkins and Gail Porter are all men who suffer with it.

If you, like me, are a sufferer then do not worry. If there’s more hair on Kojak’s lollipop than on your head then do not despair. I am here to help.

After some careful research on the topic I came across a theory that should help exorcise the demons that haunt the dreams of any slap head. It seems that Frank Muscarella and Michael R. Cunningham, from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, have studied the Ethology and Sociobiology of the matter with surprising results.

They suggest that “baldness evolved in males through sexual selection as an enhanced signal of aging and social maturity, whereby aggression and risk-taking decrease and nurturing behaviours increase. This may have conveyed a male with enhanced social status but reduced physical threat, which could enhance ability to secure reproductive partners and raise offspring to adulthood.”

In Layman’s terms they suggest that Male Pattern Baldness has a specific evolutionary explanation and outside of adolescence it portrays an already established hierarchical position in society centered on virility. At least that’s my interpretation and I’m sticking to it.

They go on to say that “the assertion that male pattern baldness is intended to convey a social message is supported by the fact that pattern baldness is common in other primates and is often used to convey increased status and maturity. Gorillas evolved anatomically enlarged foreheads for this reason. This suggests that baldness could have evolved to enhance the apparent size of the forehead and increase the area of the face to be displayed. It should also be noted that most ancestry primates had a shorter life-span. As baldness usually occurs at a later stage in life, baldness could have been a sign of survival and longevity. Premature baldness could also have evolved in younger males to convey this message, which correlates with studies suggesting men with bald or receding hairlines were rated as older than those with a full head of hair.”

Any Questions? No? Didn’t think so.

So there you go, baldies of the world. It’s not all bad. Next time someone makes fun of your shiny head or you’re feeling insecure about your Klingon like forehead then you proudly remember Muscarella and Cunningham’s theory that your baldness signifies social status, maturity, virility and a pre-established position of power within society.

The days of the comb over stuck to your head are gone, growing it long at the sides to compensate is a thing of the past and wigs are out the window. Be proud, go with your receding hairline and shave the lot off. Or do what I do, grow a beard and rock the whole upside down head look. The women love it.

If you still are unhappy about your fading locks then think of me, I’m also a Ginger. Although there is a positive note there. At least God has had the good grace to take it away from me. What’s your excuse?

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